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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  March 16, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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welcome to "world news." tonight, the twister miracle emerging, after powerful tornadoes strike right outside a major city. >> oh, my god. go, go, go. >> more severe weather on the way. and watch the view from inside, as a tornado smashes into a home. guilty, a jury convicts that student who secretly watched his roommate with a web cam. what's become one of the most famous bullying cases in america. wild ride. a terrifying ride caught on tape. incredibly, she's okay. but what every parent needs to know. and clooney in cuffs. hollywood's leading man under arrest. what they took from him. what he said to us, right after.
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good evening. and we begin here this friday night with those survival stories and the incredible, new pictures emerging tonight, after those tornadoes hit just west of detroit, tearing through so many neighborhoods. so rare this far north this time of year. and so rare, they would strike such a busy suburb. look at the view from above of the twister's path. some homes completely gone. and listen to this, tonight, a couple inside their car, riding out the tornado. >> there's the transformer going. we're -- lord, please. just get us through this tornado. >> and then, we saw this today. the view from inside one family's home. that's the garage door right there, as the twister blows in. and tonight, what has stunned so many is the fact that everyone in that community survived it. meteorologist ginger zee, traveled home to michigan to report on the aftermath. and she leads us off tonight. ginger? >> reporter: david, imagine this
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pile behind me used to be a two-story home, much like its neighbor's. now, it is absolutely nothing. the tornado that did this, we're just learning an ef-3, meaning winds of 135 miles per hour to 165 miles per hour. >> oh, crap look at how big it is. >> reporter: a violent tornado, roaring through southeast michigan. >> go, go, go. >> reporter: one of three rare march tornadoes. >> oh, my gosh. >> reporter: chris and erik minick rode one out in their car inside a car wash. sparks flying, debris swirling around them. they prayed. >> lord, protect us. be with us, lord. please, we just went through a tornado. >> reporter: this security camera capturing that garage door blowing in as the twister passed by, slicing through the neighborhood. brittany keller ran to her bathroom for cover.
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>> you don't even have enough time to pay or kiss yourself good-bye. you just sit there and wait and hope you're going to be there at the end. >> it was my home. i'm devastated. >> reporter: mercedes barcia took shelter in her basement. and when she came out -- >> i saw my neighbor. and i saw the house was gone. >> reporter: her neighbor's home shattered. is that how you came out? >> yep. that's where i came out. it was raining and hailing. >> reporter: today, the pieces of michael white's life scattered and water-logged. >> 45 years and i've never seen anything like this. >> reporter: and she's not alone. the record-breaking warmth across the nation fueled the extraordinary storm. making may-like tornadoes in march. and now looking forward, we're watching the forecast for more severe weather. it is shaping up to be a dangerous mix, from south dakota
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all the way to texas, sunday into monday. david? >> all right, ginger. thanks so much. we'll all be watching that forecast. as ginger pointed out, all of the record warmth fueling the twisters in michigan. more than 2,000 record highs set across this country since march 1st. ginger will have the latest on the storm system first thing in the morning on "good morning america." we turn to the guilty verdict that came in today, in what's become a landmark case of bullying that led a young man to take his own life. a web cam set up in his room. his roommate and others secretly watching him during a sexual encounter with another man. the rutgers student who set up the camera, was found guilty on all counts. abc's chris cuomo has been on this case from the start. >> reporter: it took just 12 hours for the jury to return a verdict that showed little
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mercy. >> guilty. >> guilty. >> guilty. >> reporter: dharun ravi, the 20-year-old rutgers freshman, guilty on all 15 counts. the most serious, bias intimidation. a hate crime, carrying a sentence of up to ten years in prison. ravi remained stoic throughout. only a hint of what had to be a crushing disappointment after refusing a deal that would have included no jail time. his parents, just behind him, kept their heads low. one juror, the same age as ravi, was confident in the verdict. >> i feel the state did prove its case. >> reporter: the charges stemmed from ravi's using a web cam to spy on his rutgers roommate in a gay encounter with an older man. clementi, an openly-gay, soft-spoken violinist, found out about the spying when he spotted ravi's invitation on twitter for his friends to come watch a planned second date. that second viewing never happened. but the next day, clementi jumped to his death from the george washington bridge. clementi's parents, also there
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for today's verdict. >> the trial was painful for us, as it would be for any parent who must sit and listen to people talk about bad and inappropriate things that were done to their child. >> reporter: the hate crime conviction means jurors decided ravi intimidated clementi because he was gay. though few witnesses at trial remembered ravi ever saying anything homophobic. >> when i am uncomfortable about something, i try to joke about it. we were just joking around. >> reporter: the suicide sparked a national anti-bullying campaign, prompting celebrities to speak out. >> and every day, it gets better. >> reporter: the defense insisted throughout what happened here was an immature prank. >> just because we do something stupid, we make mistakes, especially when we're young, it doesn't mean we're hateful and we're bigoted or we're a criminal. >> reporter: sentencing is expected in may. ravi is going to serve time. and, david, because he is an indian national, he is probably going to be deported.
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>> we know tyler clementi's family spoke today. do they believe justice was served today? >> they hope the message is out. but that message is confusing. this bias law was confusing. there wasn't a lot of hate evidence presented in the so-called hate crime case. so, this verdict today is not an end in the fight against bullying. we are at the beginning of that fight. >> all right. chris cuomo tonight. chris, thanks so much. we're learning in the case of the american soldier who allegedly put on the night-vision goggles and went door-to-door in that afghan village, murdering families. we know the name of the american soldier. and new hints, tonight, on how his lawyer plans to defend him. let's turn right to abc's martha raddatz in our washington bureau tonight. martha, what are you learning. >> reporter: the soldier has been identified as staff sergeant robert bails. we are reading quotes from bales
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in iraq. we once started clearing the town. we started carrying people back out. he was a team leader then. he said, we go in, find some people we could help. because there was a bunch of dead people, we couldn't throw them on a litter and bring them to the casualty collection point. this is a man who has seen a lot of combat. but tomorrow, he will likely be officially charged with 16 counts of murder. >> reporter: staff sergeant bales arrived back in the u.s. this evening, where his lawyer is already working on the case. >> i don't know if he did anything. >> reporter: he says the accused soldier is highly decorated, nominated for a bronze star. also, that he was wounded twice during his four deployments. a brain injury from a vehicle rollover. and another wound, so serious, part of his foot was removed. browne says the day before the murders, the soldier witnessed a friend get his leg blown off. but his lawyer denied reports
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from officials that bales was having marital problems. john henry browne has only spoken to his client on the phone. but already, hinted at a defense strategy. >> we cannot confirm that it was ps tsd. but that may an issue. >> reporter: more than 75,000 soldiers have been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress in the last decade. >> mitigating circumstance that could cause a jury to determine that the death penalty is not appropriate. >> reporter: the soldier is 1 of 65,000 who have deployed at least 4 times. there are no reliable statistics from how many have snapped. but from this soldier's own base in washington state, a string of violent acts. one vet killing a park ranger. another, his wife and child. another, shooting innocent afghans for sport. and, david, there are hundreds of veterans who have killed themselves in recent years. >> martha, while we have you, i know you're following another major development tonight. we remember those images of osama bin laden's compound.
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and now, amidst all of the evidence discovered, reports of a plan to target president obama? >> reporter: exactly. there's fascinating details from a "washington post" columnist, who was just shown documents from the bin laden compound, who said bin laden wanted to kill president obama by striking air force one. he said that vice president biden would then take over. and bin laden said, he is, quote, totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the u.s. into a crisis. but, david, officials believe all of this was just bluster. >> all right. martha raddatz on both fronts tonight. we're going to turn to an unlikely image this evening, of someone else in handcuffs. actor george clooney was arrested today, along with his father. he was in washington and he talked to our jon karl as soon as the cuffs came off. >> reporter: it started as a simple protest in front of the sudanese embassy. >> this is your third and final warning, you will be arrested. >> reporter: george clooney, his father, and 15 others refused to
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leave and were hauled off. >> i am concerned with my father and making sure he is okay right now. he's 78 years old and never been arrested before. >> reporter: an odd twist in a whirlwind trip to washington where clooney, on capitol hill and at the white house, has pushed for action to stop the government of sudan from once again slaughtering its citizens. >> we need humanitarian aid to be allowed into the sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. immediately. >> reporter: this is no fly-by-night hollywood cause. clooney has been to sudan six times. most recently to the nuba mountain region where the government is bombing villages and blocking food aid in a battle against anti-government rebels. a sad replay of crisis we saw first-hand in darfur. the u.n. says there are now a staggering 1.8 million refugees living in camps like this one here in darfur. clooney spent a couple of hours behind bars. paid a $100 fine and was freed. not quite "ocean's 11."
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although, like all prisoners, he was forced to turnover his personal belongings. even his shoe laces and his belt. afterwards, we talked to him about his most recent trip to sudan. >> it's really rough. >> reporter: clooney shared his jail cell with more than a dozen other protesters. how did they treat you in there, by the way. >> it was really rough. you can imagine. have you ever been in a cell with these guys? >> reporter: this is your first arrest ever? >> it is my first arrest. thanks for asking. and let's hope it's my last. >> reporter: jonathan karl, abc news, washington. >> some trademark humor from mr. clooney. and for more than a week, now, you know we've been reporting on pink slime, that filler used in your ground beef. it sparked a grassroots movement. so many of you concerned about the ground beef in your grocery store. and concerned viewers taking the concerns to their butcher. and a cookbook author that answered more than the questions. he cooked it, to test the difference.
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>> and i'm reading the label to see if i can figure it out. >> reporter: we sent melissa baines, a mother of three, on the hunt for beef with so-called pink slime. >> nothing about the ingredients or if it has that pink slime in it. >> reporter: so, she asked her butcher. >> about the pink slime in the meat? >> we don't use it. >> you don't use it? >> reporter: don't use what the industry calls finely textured beef, an inexpensive filler made with processed beef trimmings, spritzed with ammonia. and now, with so many of you are asking, what's in my beef? butchers are starting to provide answers. >> when i went to the grocer, he handed me the fact sheet. >> reporter: j.m. hirsch was given a flier at his new hampshire store. but hirsch is also the food writer for the associated press and a cookbook author, who wanted to know, is there a difference between meat with and without the pink slime? in the pan, they look more or less the same. except -- >> this sample, with the pink slime did not let out as much
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fat. >> reporter: so, did it taste different? >> the ground beef without the pink stuff in it is a better burger. >> reporter: herrish's cookoff comes as the maker of pink slime, released a video to defend its product. >> what we make is 100% lean beef. and we do so with great attention to quality and safety. >> reporter: the usda agrees the product is safe. but what about the label? i had to call another company to confirm the filler was in this meat. no labels. and more questions for butchers around the country. david kerley, abc news, washington. >> david kerley in reporting again for us tonight. thank you. still ahead on "world news" this friday night, watch this extraordinary moment caught on tape. right there in the circle, a little girl, thrown from a carnival ride, eight feet in the air. and tonight, hear what every parent needs to know. are your children safe on those parent needs to know. are your children safe on those rides? about the cookie-cutter retirement advice ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 you get at some places. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 they say you have to do this, have that, invest here ttd#: 1-800-345-2550
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tape tonight. a 3-year-old girl was thrown from a ride. she is okay tonight. but when you see the pictures, you'll understand why there are new questions about just how safe those rides really are. here's abc's ryan owens in texas. >> reporter: a father shooting video of his own child unknowingly captures this 3-year-old girl, slipping under restraints. first, her legs fly out. then you see her trying to hold on as the ride keeps spinning. she is thrown six to eight feet. the child suffered a concussion, but tonight, is out of the hospital. officials at the houston rodeo say this toddler did meet the 42-inch height requirement, but should have had an adult with her. >> she's a 3-year-old without an adult. and we said. she came under the bar. she came under the lap restraint. >> reporter: witnesses say the child's mother and 8-year-old brother entered the ride with her. but the mother decided to get off at the last minute because the seats were so small. what parent hasn't been at least a little nervous when their
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child boards a kiddie train? this one derailed in south carolina last year, killing a 6-year-old boy. or when their little one straps in for a rollercoaster ride. the chain snapped on this one in california in 2010 injuring seven. according to the consumer safety product commission, about 3,600 people were hurt on carnival rides in 2010. once they hit the road, it's up to individual states. some aggressively inspect. others are more hands-off. in fact, nine states have no administered inspection program at all. >> you yourself, before you get on that ride, you are the final inspector. if it looks bad, it probably is. if it sounds bad, it probably is. >> reporter: ultimately, children may have to rely on mom and dad to insure their ride is both scary and safe. ryan owens, abc news, dallas. >> incredible pictures today.
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ryan, thank you. and when we come back here on the broadcast here tonight, have any of you ever used a gps device to get to where you're going? this family did. and look where they ended up. what happened and where was this? this is $100,000. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much, i appreciate it, i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money ? if your bank takes more money than a stranger,
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free falling before opening his parachute. it was a trial run before a riskier stunt this summer, a plunge of 23 miles, the first person to break the sound barrier with his body. we ask you this question, how much do you trust the voice in your car, that gps? three japanese tourists may have put too much faith in theirs. following their commands, right into the sea. the rented car sank into the mud as the tide was rushing in. the gps kept saying the road just ahead. they're flying back to tokyo tonight. but they do want to return to finish that trip. no word if they're going to use a map next time. it's a marilyn monroe we have never seen. 100 images of the screen icon revealed just today, with an announcement they're going up for auction. the photos longed to her trusted makeup artist, allen snyder, scene on the set of "let's make love." "something's got to give," her last film, in 1962, the one she
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didn't finish. marilyn monroe, so much fascination for so many of us. when we come back to "world news," the little girl dwarfed not only by the microphone but by her competitors. she could prove she's the smartest little girl in america tonight. i have copd. if you have it, you know how hard it can be to breathe and what that feels like. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms... by keeping my airways open a full 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. and it's steroid-free. spiriva does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help
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and finally tonight here, most 6-year-olds are still learning how to read. apparently no one told that to our "person of the week." the youngest person ever to head to the scrip's national spelling bee. >> i'm not scared. definitely not scared. >> reporter: six-year-old lori anne madison headed to the national spelling bee. and here's why. listen to her spell this. >> antidisestablishmentarianism. a-n-t-i- >> reporter: in the next 17 seconds, the homeschooled 6-year-old from virginia shows us. even she was impressed. as she then sat through an eternally long, exhausting, 30-minute interview. and don't let those tiny pink
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cats on her socks fool you. she prefers dragons to dolls. >> i like to read every single bit of fantasy. mythology and dragons in it and battles. >> reporter: she chooses words over what to wear. >> i like pants and a shirt. dresses tickle me and i've held a grudge against them since i told my mom they tickle me and i don't wanna wear them. >> reporter: her passion for spelling began when she was just 3. look at her right there competing against kids and microphones that towered over her. she got there with the help of her romanian-born mother, a college professor. and lori anne told us of her simple formula for how to spell. >> don't take it that seriously. because if you do, you're going to overwork and rush and misspell a word. >> reporter: and her dream for the future. >> i wanna be an astrobiologist. >> reporter: a what? >> an astrobiologist. i was split between astronomy and biology. and i put them together. and it's a real word. and i decided, hey, why not do this because it's both of them? >> reporter: of course she would know that's a word. with the spelling bee
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approaching, a humble goal. >> i hope i'm going to get into the semifinals. and i'm really hoping for a decent, nice, big-sized trophy. >> reporter: and listen to what our producer asked her. asking her if she had her own philosophy. >> do you know what the word philosophy means? >> i know what it means, i know what it means. you're never too young to do things. you're never too young to do things. and i can do it. >> i can do it. so, we choose lori anne matson, 1 of 200 contestants at the scrip's national spelling bee. i hope to see you back here later this weekend. for diane and all of us, good night. [ male announcer ] for making cupcakes
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